Interviewee: Betty P. McGee Interviewer: Allison Wonsick. Date: November 24, 2010
Betty P. McGee was born in Catawba County in 1943. She contracted polio in 1944, when she was a year old, so she has little memory of it. However, she remembers going to an orthopedic hospital in Gastonia for follow-ups and for corrective surgery when she was thirteen. As an adult, she became a nurse. She graduated from a diploma program in 1966 and took further classes at Davidson College. She lived in Germany with her husband, who worked in the military, and worked at Catawba Hospital when she returned. She then did nursing and administrative work, including a job with the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. She did public health in the Mississippi Delta and spent time doing industrial nursing, coordinating wellness programs, workersâ compensation, and drug screenings with various industrial employers. At the time of the interview, she worked as a parish nurse.
In the interview, McGee describes her childhood experience with long hospital stays and reflects on the effect of polio on her life and character. She discusses her education, covering the topics of classes, practical experience, and life in a hospital dormitory. She talks about the growing diversity of nurses and the changes she has witnessed in nursing over the course of her life.